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God’s Prescription For Wellness: Anointing Oil

Healing in the Bible is sometimes accompanied by anointing the sick patient with oil (see Mark  6:13) The writer of James 5:14, instructs the sick to seek the aid of the Elders of the church who are to pray for them and “anoint them with oil.”

While anointing the sick with oil has long history in the church, there is little consensus about how it works. What is the relationship between the person (the Elder) and the procedure? What is the purpose of the oil? What is the relationship between prayer and the oil?  Is the oil simply symbolic of the Holy Spirit or is there some medicinal property in the oil itself?  If the oil is medicinal, what type of oil is to be used?  We may never have a definitive answer.  There may be multiple answers. However, there is a growing body of evidence on the healing properties of essential oils–plant distillation that is used in aromatherapy.

Beyond just having a pleasing fragrance, essential oils applied to the skin or a cloth and inhaled are shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and relieve anxiety. Lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, and sandalwood were found to be especially effective.  Other essential oils have anti-fungal properties, aid in digestion, and boost the immune system.

For more information about the healing benefits of essential oils, link to the University of Maryland Medical Center report.


One Comment

  1. I find lavender to be especially calming.

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